Ego makes you believe that you need a barbell or a full gym to build muscle, but “You can get soaked and get every muscle in your body thoroughly exercised with just a pair of medium-sized dumbbells,” says Joel Seedman, PhD, owner of Advanced Human Performance. Seriously, even advanced lifters will be challenged by the following weight training developed by Seedman.
Dumbbells are arguably the most versatile piece of equipment because you can move more fluidly. Unlike the rigid, rigid patterns of machines and barbells, you have the flexibility to change position and angle to relieve pain from injury or immobility, and a greater ability to work unilaterally to resolve muscle imbalances.
Because of this, “you don’t have to be heavy to create the strong intramuscular stimulus that is critical when exercising at home,” adds Seedman. Are you ready to light up your whole body with free weights? This dumbbell workout challenges your one-sided strength and coordination in a way that a barbell never could.
Expert tip: To increase intensity when you don’t have adjustable dumbbells, add heavy tape, do more repetitions, slow down the movement to create more time under tension, or hold the contracted position of the exercise.
Directions: Add this dumbbell workout to your weekly routine once a week. Do it twice a week with cardio on opposite days whenever you need a new program. Do the exercises in Part 1 for the prescribed number of reps, rest 20 to 30 seconds between trains and 30 to 45 seconds between sets. When you have completed all 3 sets in Part A, rest for 60 to 90 seconds, then complete the triset in Part 2. Do the exercises for the prescribed number of repetitions, resting 20 to 30 seconds between trains and between 30 and 45 seconds of rest seconds between sets for a total of 3 sets. Beginners should use 20 to 25 pound dumbbells, advanced learners can walk 30 to 40 pound dumbbells, and advanced learners can walk 45 pounds and up.